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  • Dr. Kristin Cappelli, PT

Posture is Paramount!

"Sit up straight!" How many times have we heard that? But you know what...Mom (and your favorite physical therapist) ALWAYS knows best! Often times, that lingering neck and back pain can be fixed with a simple change in posture. These days, life is filled with computers, zoom meetings and cell phones. With the recent pandemic causing more of us to be working (and schooling) from home, you may not have the ability to get the perfect ergonomic set up.

Did you know that sitting with poor posture can almost double the pressure onto the vertebral discs, making them more prone to herniations? Poor posture when sitting consists of constant forward head position which can lead to neck/shoulder pain and headaches, as well as a rounded or "slumped" position of the thoracic and lumbar spine causing upper/lower back pain and sometimes hip discomfort.

Some simple tips that can improve posture if unable to have someone perform an ergonomic assessment include:

*Set the height of the chair so your feet rest flat on ground and your thighs are either parallel or slightly elevated to the floor.

*Keep body weight even-No shifting weight to one side or sitting on your leg/legs.

*Keep the chair close enough to the table so that you aren't reaching forward with your arms.

*Try and get the computer monitor as close to eye level as possible so that your neck is at a neutral position and not looking up or down. If the computer does not adjust, try setting the monitor on books to achieve optimal level.

*Avoid sitting for more than 30 minutes. Set an alarm, get up and walk for a few minutes and perform some back bends.

If these tips do not help any pain that you may be experiencing, give one of our experienced therapists a call. They can appropriately evaluate and assess symptoms and come up with a personalized exercise program that consists of stretching, core strengthening, and postural exercises. They can also determine if more may be going on that may require further medical treatments or evaluations.

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